Burton-upon-Trent fleet management specialist, CBVC Vehicle Management, has seen major benefits from introducing e-licence checking, including more accuracy, fewer errors, reduced time in achieving driver approval, better grey fleet control and improved compliance levels.
As a replacement for an existing paper-based driver declaration form, the new system, which is a white label solution from one of the market leaders in the licence checking arena, has proved a huge success.
Driver approval times have reduced dramatically for all classes of vehicle – company cars, grey fleet, light commercial and heavy goods vehicles and public service vehicles (PSVs) – and for both company and grey fleet drivers.
Once a driver has completed the online declaration, the licence check can be carried out within a matter of seconds using the DVLA (Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency) database to quickly identify whether the driver is entitled to drive the class of vehicle they are currently driving, and whether they have any recent endorsements or previous driving convictions.
The frequency of checking can then be linked to a risk rating given to each driver based on their driver histories, with those with the highest risk profile being checked most frequently, even monthly if required, while most drivers will be periodically checked every 12 months.
This ensures that companies are legally compliant and meet their duty of care obligations to their employees under Health and Safety Executive guidelines and driving at work policy.
With that regard, the system has proved especially effective in checking the licences of grey fleet drivers – those that regularly use their own vehicles on company business – to ensure they are legally entitled to drive and have the correct level of business insurance.
Drivers are tasked to complete required information via a driver portal to confirm that the type of vehicle, its age, body style and CO2 performance are all in line with corporate fleet policy, and that they have relevant business insurance.
This has proved very effective in e-licence checking at one fleet client which has around 500 company vehicles but almost 900 designated drivers, including spouses, with checking times and efficiency improving significantly.
Those drivers which fail to complete tasks or information is missing are sent regular remainders via email until the task has been completed or the inactivity escalated to line managers to take the appropriate action.
The licence checking solution integrates seamlessly with CBVC’s online fleet management system, where it combines with accident claims and additional maintenance costs to give a complete view of the driver’s performance, thus enabling an all-embracing and holistic approach to risk management.
James Riordan, Head of Fleet Management and IT at CBVC, said: “We have been using an e-licence checking solution for the last six months which has brought across the board benefits for us and our clients, especially in the areas of compliance and duty of care.
“The speed of collecting driver information and its accuracy has been a big plus. The previous paper-based system meant that forms were notoriously difficult to obtain back from drivers and took much longer to collate and approve.
“The system allows much better control over both company and grey fleet vehicles, and helps companies meet their duty of care and compliance obligations under HSE driving at work guidelines by ensuring that vehicles and their drivers are all in line with corporate fleet policy.
“By going down an e-checking route we have been able to give our clients greater peace of mind that their drivers are eligible to drive, as well as providing a clear audit trail in the event of an incident,” he said.